“It’s said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others’ mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from other’s successes.” ― John C. Maxwell

Warren Buffett is not cool or sexy, but if you are seeking wise advice he is the go to man.

According to Wikipedia, “He (Warren Buffett) is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of US$82.5 billion as of March 9, 2019, making him the third-wealthiest person in the world.”

I believe Warren Buffett’s principles and quotes apply to marketing and advertising just as much as they do for investing.

Let’s look at some of my favourite ones.

1. “Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre.”

Good marketing and advertising can only speed up what was going to happen anyway. A wonderful business will become bigger faster. A lousy business will go broke faster. Be a wonderful business.

2. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

Once you have a North Star (destination) and a strategy to get you there, stick to it. You’ll be bombarded with business and advertising and marketing opportunities every day. If these opportunities won’t help get you to your destination, no matter how enticing, just say NO.

You should always plan and book your advertising once a year. When other advertising opportunities pop up through the year, say NO.

3. “Investing must be rational; if you can’t understand it, don’t do it.”

Every day there is new technology and services to help you spend your marketing budget. If you can’t understand how it works don’t buy it. Take SEO for example. Don’t pay people money if you don’t know what they are doing.

4. “We like to buy businesses. We don’t like to sell, and we expect relationships to last a lifetime.” – “Our favorite holding period is forever.”

How long do you plan on being in business? Forever you say. Well, that’s how long you should market and advertise.

When you buy radio or television advertising, you are buying an audience. You need to reach that same audience every week, forever. Don’t keep swapping and changing stations.

5. “Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing.” – “Keep all your eggs in one basket, but watch that basket closely.”

Marketing and advertising fail when spread too thin. Business owners not knowing what they are doing book a bit of radio, a bit of TV. They do a little on Facebook and a little on Instagram. Don’t spread thin. Dominate one message delivery vehicle. When you have more money dominate another.

6. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Are you worried about training staff and then having them leave? I suggest you should worry more about untrained staff staying — unhappy or untrained staff can damage your reputation. Hire happy people and train them. Pay your team well.

7. “Berkshire buys when the lemmings are heading the other way.”

We find advertising on mass media is working better today than ever. At a time when the masses are going frantic about the latest social media channel, we advise our clients to head the other way and keep buying radio and television.

We are finding social media is helping customers spread the word about businesses with excellent service, good prices and memorable, relevant messages. So, our advertising clients see better returns. Be a wonderful business and social media will spread the word for you. Be a lousy business and social media will sink you faster than an iceberg.

Yes, have a social media presence, but don’t over-invest time and money into it. Instead, put that money into improving your customer experience.

8. “The propensity to gamble is always increased by a large prize versus a small entry fee, no matter how poor the true odds may be. That’s why Las Vegas casinos advertise big jackpots and why state lotteries headline big prizes.”

In a world of instant gratification, we want success to happen fast and big. We’re always on the lookout for ways to shortcut the process. So beware the cool and sexy telling you what you want to hear. They tell you the old principles of investing, and business and marketing no longer apply. They make success sound easy to achieve with glossy images of wealth and glowing testimonials. Big money. Little effort. Get in now or miss out.

The old adage still applies. “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” 

9. “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”

Keep it simple. Be extraordinary at doing the basics.

10. “Successful Investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”

Successful marketing and advertising also takes time, discipline and patience.
It takes many years to become an overnight success.

Until next time.
Work hard and have fun.